When mentioning Taiwanese ancient villages, we will definitely think about Jiufen Old Street (with the iconic image of Amei Tea Shop) and Shifen (as the attraction to release wishing sky lanterns), both are very popular. Not only that, Taiwan also has another ancient village with many unusual activities to discover–the old town of Fenqihu (or Fenchihu). Come and take a walk around the peaceful village with us and experience interesting things in one day.

Fenqihu old town, Taiwan
Fenqihu Old Town–a well-known attraction in Taiwan | what to do in fenqihu
A souvenir shop in Fenqihu | what to do in fenqihu
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Beautiful view of Alishan Mountain | what to do in fenqihu

So, is Fenqihu worth visiting, what to do in Fenqihu? Let’s check out our Fenqihu old street (Fenchihu old street) blog with 5+ top things to do in fenqihu and what to do in Fenchihu to help you maximize your trip as follows!

The famous lunchbox of Fenqihu
Fenqihu Old Town is famous for its train locomotive symbol | what to do in fenqihu

Visit the train rails (#fenqihu old street)

Alishan Forest Railway taiwan (1)
A red train stopping at the station in Fenqihu Old Town–a popular stop at the foot of Alishan | what to do in fenqihu

Fenquihu is a resting station before reaching Alishan Mountain. This is a gentle, peaceful old village with a relatively small area, so you’ll just need a second to see everything. Although we didn’t stay here for long, it was enough for us to walk around and explore some interesting things. Fenqihu is located at an altitude of 1,400 meters above sea level, so this place often has a gloomy atmosphere all year round. But luckily, the weather was quite sunny with some cool breezes the day we visited.

Alishan Forest Railway taiwan (1)
Sitting on the train, you can see giant cypress trees reaching straight up to the sky

The most popular spot here is probably the old train station where you can see an old train with a beautiful red locomotive. In the past, the old town of Fenqihu used to be a refueling stop for trains going to the Alishan forest for wood with high frequency and bustling activities. The station in Fenqihu Village was inaugurated in 1912 and used to be the end station of the train line running to Alishan forest. Today, the ancient train station remains almost intact and has become a historical and cultural symbol. The design layout of Fenqihu is highly influenced by Japanese culture.

A lovely check-in part on the railway. Many tourists come here to take photos when the train stops. Don’t forget to choose a beautiful corner and save beautiful moments. | what to do in fenqihu
The beautiful red locomotive is a symbol that appears on many souvenirs. | what to do in fenqihu
The museum nearby displays several train models. | what to do in fenqihu

Walking in the square bamboo forest (#what to do in fenqihu)

| what to do in fenqihu

The square bamboo forest in the old town of Fenqihu is also an interesting place to visit. After lunch, we went to the square bamboo forest for some relaxing moments. It can be said that this is the most suitable time to walk in the bamboo forest because the space offers a blue sky seen through the green bamboo forest and cool winds blowing between the trees. The scene therefore becomes truly charming.

| what to do in fenqihu
| what to do in fenqihu

On gray, cloudy days, the bamboo forest covers most of the light. The forest now takes on a gloomy and magical feel when the mist descends. An interesting fact about this forest from the comments online is that if you look at the bamboo forest when the dew falls, the scene is like a shot from the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Stairs with a shady path lead to the square bamboo forest. | what to do in fenqihu
The bamboo forest on a warm, sunny day is green and cool, very suitable for a walk after lunch. | what to do in fenchihu

Stroll around the old town of Fenqihu and purchase souvenirs (#fenchihu old street)

A large glass cabinet displays a symbolic Alishan railway model with a running train. | what to do in fenchihu

After lunch is the best time for you to walk around the village. We didn’t have too much time, so we took the chance to eat and drink as much as we could while walking the entire road leading to the village. Fenqihu is quite small, so the streets selling souvenirs are also tiny and beautiful. The store is cozy but full of adorable items. On small winding alleys, there are many shops made of wood, and people hang bright red lanterns to decorate and attract tourists. This also partly preserves the ancient vibe of the entire attraction.

A wide variety of souvenirs to choose from | what to do in fenchihu
Walking path to the old town. On both sides of the road are small shops selling local food and souvenirs. Strolling along this road is absolutely enjoyable because you can take in both the visual and olfactory senses. | what to do in fenchihu
Many unique souvenirs are on sale. The items I see the most are red trains carved from wood and postcards with images of trains. | what to do in fenchihu
The souvenir shops in Fenqihu Old Town give a calm, nostalgic look. | what to do in fenchihu

The red train symbol also appears a lot on postcards, legos, and wood carvings. The souvenirs are available in ancient villages as well as in other places in Taiwan. You can choose cute little souvenirs to take home as gifts. I bought a small Lego set of the train symbol for 180 yuan (about USD 5.63). If you like, you can buy a few more sets to make a whole train, which is absolutely fascinating.

Have the famous rice bento box by the railway (#what to do in fenchihu)

| what to do in fenchihu

Coming to Fenqihu, everyone says remember to try the famous railway bento with a unique recipe from the time when the Japanese came here to exploit wood. Previously, when the Japanese came to Taiwan, they opened this railway to travel to the Alishan forest and get wood. Workers will stop at Fenqihu station to have lunch. This rice dish still exists to this day.

Famous railway rice dish. I chose a box of pork rib and chicken, with one extra egg. For me, the rib is the best since the marinade is very tasty and full of flavor. | what to do in fenchihu

Fenqihu bento rice will be served in an oval-shaped box, the rice will be served with lightly cooked bamboo shoot soup. There are 3 main rice dishes: chicken rice, pork rib rice, and chicken-pork rib rice. The price of a box of rice is from 160 – 180 yuan (about USD 5.00–5.63). Each serving of rice will come with stir-fried vegetables and braised eggs on the side. We find rice grains quite different from what we usually have. The rice grains here are short, round, and plump, and the rice dish is also soft and fragrant.

The dining area is spacious and ventilated. | fenqihu old street

We also heard that the man who sold bento lunch boxes to workers every day is now the owner of the restaurant as well as many hotels and restaurants in this ancient village. In the past, this businessman used to cook rice, divide it into boxes, and put the boxes in a wooden crate that he wore around his waist, waiting for each train to arrive and selling them to passersby and workers. Although the train line stopped operating long ago, old customers cannot forget these lunch boxes. Nowadays, enjoying this famous railway rice dish has become an indispensable activity when visiting the old town of Fenqihu.

On the wall hang many pictures of beautiful scenery in Alishan and Fenqihu. | fenqihu old street

However, this restaurant is always crowded. If you go in a large group, you should contact them in advance to order food and avoid having to wait long. The serving here is quite small, and the amount of rice also comes as modest. It will probably be enough if you are a woman, but in case you need more, you can buy a bowl of rice for 20 yuan (about USD 0.62).

At the front, there is a model of the train locomotive and a model of a fried rice box. | fenqihu old street

While waiting for your meal, you can also walk around and see all the paintings around the room. The owner has an impressive collection of paintings of the beautiful scenery in Fenqihu and Alishan. Seeing these paintings is also a convenient way to ‘travel’ by eyes to better visualize upcoming places you will visit.

Try the famous Aiyu jelly

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My favorite treat in Fenqihu Old Town is definitely the famous Aiyu jelly. Aiyu jelly is made from natural ingredients such as awkeotsang creeping fig –a popular plant in Taiwan. Looking at the appearance, Aiyu jelly is rather similar to gelatine jelly in Vietnam. In my opinion, it is soft and has a very refreshing flavor. If you store Aiyu jelly in the refrigerator, it will taste much better. Or you can cut it into small pieces and add it to your favorite milk tea.

| fenqihu old street

Aiyu jelly comes in many different flavors so you can have more options when purchasing as a gift such as lemon, peach blossom, apricot, lychee, plum, and strawberry. The price of a box of Aiyu jelly I bought is 120 yuan ( about USD 3.73), which is quite affordable for you to try several types or give to your friends and family.

Aiyu jelly has many flavors for you to choose from. | fenqihu old street

Some notes when visiting Fenqihu Old Town

  • The temperature at noon and evening is quite different. The sun at noon is radiant, but in the evening, the temperature drops quickly. Therefore, remember to prepare enough suitable clothes to comfortably tour around all day.
  • The prices of food and souvenirs sold in the old town are pretty stable (when compared to some souvenirs in other ancient villages and souvenir shops, the prices are similar). You can buy some typical souvenirs here such as postcards or legos that have images of the old town and the red train locomotive.
  • Hotel and motel rental prices in Fenqihu are rather expensive. Evenings here are sort of boring because the village is tiny and has no other entertainment activities, so you can consider visiting during the day only.
Aerial view of Fenqihu Old Town | fenqihu old street

Although not as famous as Shifen or Jiufen old villages, Fenqihu will be an ideal choice for you if you want to explore more exotic ancient villages in Taiwan. Located at the edge of Alishan Mountain and forests, Fenqihu offers fresh air and pleasant weather, very suitable for a calm day of touring.

Finding top things to do in Fenqihu and around? Explore: Eryanping Trail & Alishan Fenqihu Hiking Charter Day Tour in Chiayi and Car charter for Chiayi – Alishan & Fenchi Lake (Departure from Chiayi)